Sunday, August 29, 2004

Today we went hiking at Apsan mountain and it was fantastic. It was definitely one of the best days I have had in Korea so far. The sun was shining, Brian and I were both in good spirits and we were excited to spend the day outside. We took a cab to the base of the mountain and hiked up a long path to a cable car. We took the cable car up (for a mere $4 I might add. It made Sulphur Mountain's $20 cable car look even more outrageous)and could see over the entire city of Daegu. It was gorgeous. There was a slight breeze at the top of the mountain and we had lunch looking out over the valley. We hiked along the ridge and visited a fortress from the Silla period (approx 600 C.E) which I thought was incredible. I have always loved visiting old places and this was exceptionally old. I have said this before but it really bugs me how western-centered our perspective of history is. The people here were fighting wars and building fortresses far before any European had set foot on American soil and more people never even learn about it. It's aggravating to me, I can only imagine how I would feel if I were Korean.

After walking the ridge for a few hours we took the cable car back down and went for a walk in the woods. We cam across a Buddhist temple nestled on a hill next to a stream. It was beautiful. There were some monks walking in the courtyard and the whole place was covered in a blanket of silence. It was a comfortable and calm quiet though and I felt very peaceful staring up at the huge temple walls. The colours and designs of the temples here are really beautiful and inspiring. We could see a huge golden Buddha statue inside one of the buildings and you could smell incense and the smell of the pine trees. I could have laid down in the rocky courtyard for hours. We spoke to one of the monks and he informed us that he had been to Vancouver and thought Canada was very beautiful. The monk said he had been to Whistler even! Brian started to imitate a skier and said "Do you ski?" The monk just smiled and said, "I Snowboard actually." Ha! It was so funny.

We walked home from the mountain and past Camp Walker, which is a huge American military base here in Daegu. We passed a seafood restaurant with display tanks in the front and we saw the biggest crabs we have ever seen. They were huge! The woman came out from the shop and told us they were 5 kilograms! I don't know if they were a special Korean crab or if they were from the same coral reefs where Japan does its nuclear testing but they were gigantic!

What a fantastic day...

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